Accession, coronation and jubilee displays to mark Queen’s Platinum milestone

Three special exhibitions marking the Queen’s accession, coronation and jubilees will celebrate the monarch’s Platinum milestone next year.

The Royal Collection is staging the displays, each commemorating the significant occasions of Elizabeth II’s reign, at official royal residences in 2022.

At Buckingham Palace for the summer opening of the state rooms, Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession will feature historic photographic portraits of the head of state taken just 20 days after she acceded to the throne.

The famous series of pictures by Dorothy Wilding formed the basis of the young monarch’s image on millions of stamps between 1953 and 1971, as well as providing the official portrait sent to every British embassy around the world.

The Queen
One of Dorothy Wilding’s portraits of the Queen (Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II 2021/PA)

Plans for the exhibitions were revealed the day after the Queen missed the Remembrance Sunday service for the first time in 22 years due to a sprained back.

Twenty-four of the original set of 59 photographs will go on show.

Caroline de Guitaut, curator of the displays, said: “Wilding’s mastery of lighting and simple black or white backgrounds combined with elegant evening dresses and glittering jewels ensured these portraits remain some of the most memorable images of the Queen.

“Their historic significance resonates all the more greatly given their depiction of the longest reigning monarch in British history.”

Visitors will also be able to take a closer look at items from the Queen’s personal jewellery collection which she wore for Wilding’s sittings.

Among the priceless pieces on show will be the Queen’s Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara – an heirloomed wedding gift given to her by her grandmother, Queen Mary, when Princess Elizabeth married the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

Royalty – Queen Elizabeth II State Visit to Ireland
The Queen wearing ‘Granny’s Tiara’ during her State Visit to Ireland in 2011 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Known as Granny’s Tiara, it is one of the Queen’s favourite and most treasured pieces and she often wears the glittering headpiece, made of diamonds in a festoon and scroll design, to state banquets.

At the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, a display commemorating past jubilees will feature a collection of outfits worn by the Queen during her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Royalty – Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee – Tour of Great Britain
The Queen during her walkabout in the City of London after the Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral (Ron Bell/PA)

It will include a pink dress, coat and stole in silk crepe and chiffon designed by royal couturier Sir Hardy Amies and a matching hat by Simone Mirman with flowerheads hanging from silk stems.

The Queen wore the ensemble to the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in June 1977 which was commemorating 25 years of her reign.

The Queen's Silver Jubilee thanksgiving service ensemble
The Queen’s 1977 Silver Jubilee thanksgiving service ensemble (Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II 2021/PA)

At Windsor Castle, for the Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Coronation exhibition, tourists will see the Queen’s Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate which she wore for her 1953 coronation.

The 95-year-old monarch has been on doctors’ orders to rest for more than three weeks since spending a night in hospital undergoing preliminary tests on October 20.

She is set to reach 70 years on the throne on February 6 2022, with the national celebrations taking place over a four-day bank holiday weekend of festivities in June.

The Queen's coronation dress
The Queen’s coronation dress (Royal Collection/Queen Elizabeth II 2021/PA)

Two other new exhibitions will showcase some of the Royal Collection’s finest works next year.

Japan: Courts And Culture at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, will tell the story of 300 years of diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchange between the British and Japanese royal and imperial families from April 8 2022 to March 12 2023.

The Masterpieces From Buckingham Palace exhibition, which brings together more than 30 of the most important Old Master paintings in the Royal Collection, will be at Holyroodhouse from March to September 2022.

Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession is at Buckingham Palace from July 22 to October 2 2022, while Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Coronation will be at Windsor Castle from July 7 to September 26 2022.

The Platinum Jubilee display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will run from July to September 2022.